I was recently whisked off on a surprise date at a new venue. I’d left the office at stupid-o-clock that night and we kept moving the reservation out so we wouldn’t lose it. Discovering new spots has definitely become a favourite pass time in Jozi – and this one was way too good to keep to myself.
We arrived at D6 (as in District 6 Eatery) and it was gorgeous – I couldn’t stop looking around this gem of a place. I’ve been to my share of restaurants (in fact our current resolution is to eat at home more!) and mostly it’s more of the same – nothing inspiring.
Prepare to be marvelled.
D6 is quaint and cosy – maybe 6 tables inside and 2 or 3 outside – it’s phenomenal what they’ve been able to do in this tiny space. I must have spent at least an hour out of my seat that evening just ogling at the different pieces they have up on the wall – photographs to hats to jars – I can’t really explain, but it’s a feast on the eye.
Run by Capetonians Clarence Samuel Gorlei & Romano Gorlei who are absolutely passionate about what they’re doing, it was the first time that I saw, in the flesh, life breathed into one of my favourite quotes:
“What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfils you, the rest will come.” Oprah Winfrey
It’s easy to see that that this isn’t work for anyone here. They float from table to table and instead of “everything ok?” before long you’re having a chat with and old friend in what feels like your gran’s lounge – plastic table cloth and all.
The menu is completely authentic – everything on it is things my gran would cook with her eyes closed. It’s the kind of food I look forward to when I go home – the stuff I took for granted over the years and rolled my eyes at growing up but now I call my mom ahead of a trip home to get my order in – with some to spare so I can freeze and bring back to Jozi with me of course!
On the Friday evening we went we really in luck as there was entertainment too – a guy with a guitar and a large (& appropriate!) passion gap. He looked vaguely familiar and we soon realised he was Mortimer Williams and knew we were in for an extra treat. Personable as ever, he came over to our table to chat and as soon as we mentioned we were from Cape Town too, we were thick as thieves. After that it was a bit like sitting in the front row at a stand up comedy show – it was inevitable we’d be at least the brunt of one joke (or song in this case!).
Ok, ok, I detract. Let’s get to the food. For starters we had samoosas – delicious and “almost as good as Wembley’s” was my feedback to them. Mains saw us devouring prawn curry with roti and bobotie. Like a real Slams I ditched the cutlery and got down, eating my curry with my hands – soaking up every bit of sauce, so much so I needed a second roti – it was amazingly flavourful. Hubby’s bobotie was a close second to his mom’s he said – I was too full to even possibly sneak a taste.
Try as we may, we couldn’t possibly get dessert in after all that but we took some melktert away and it made an amazing brekkie in the morning!
- All the food is halaal – major bonus (almost unheard of!) and the meat is supplied by the neighbourhood butcher across the way *insert air punch!*
- The warmth and personalized service. By the end of the night the waitress hugged us goodbye and we’d exchanged contact details with one of the other waiters, Caval.
- Nothing personally but if you’re a drinker they don’t have a liquor license but you can byob.
D6 is unfussed, unpretentious slow food – everything modern restaurants isn’t. Which is probably why they haven’t called themselves a restaurant, but an Eatery. And eat we did!
If I ran the place…
- My only recommendation is that they add atchaar to the condiments and koeksisters to the desserts (the slams spicy kind, with the coconut in the middle of course!).
- Oh and a mobile credit card machine is a must – exercise after all that food is just too much.
Need to know…
- Booking is essential (don’t even try!)
- And don’t be in a hurry – this is slow food at its best.
A bad day of the office quickly disappeared as the blood drained from my head to my stomach and I fell asleep on the ride home 🙂
Maagies vol, oogies toe.
District Six Eatery – 011 486 7226
Corner Greenhills and Barry Hertzog Road, Emmarentia
Lunch: 12:00am – 3:00pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Dinner: 6.00pm – 9.30pm (kitchen closes at 9pm), Tuesday to Saturday